Nash: staying in Phoenix no longer a "home run"
Old 06-30-2012, 05:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Steve Nash expects to move quicklyUpdated: June 30, 2012, 3:12 AM ETBy Marc Stein | ESPN.com Recommend67Tweet171Comments421EmailPrintTrueHoop TV: Steve Nash
Steve Nash sits down with Marc Stein to discuss his impending free agency, playing for a contender, the prospect of playing in Toronto or Dallas and the possibility of leaving Phoenix for good.TrueHoop TV: Steve NashNEW YORK -- After years of brushing aside the notion that he'd ever leave his comfortable desert surroundings, Steve Nash suddenly sounds like a player ready for a change of scenery.

The All-Star point guard sat down with ESPN.com this week to talk about his forthcoming free agency and admitted that, more and more, he pictures himself in a different uniform next season after spending the past eight seasons with the Phoenix Suns.


Seven (plus one) options for Steve Nash
John Hollinger examines the top seven possible destinations for Steve Nash, and one perfect fit that has no chance of landing him. Story

"I couldn't list a favorite," Nash said in his role of host for his annual Showdown charity soccer game in the Chinatown section of Manhattan, declining the opportunity to name the team with the best shot at signing him once free agency opens leaguewide Sunday at 12:01 a.m.

"But I do know that for the first time I realize that it might not be Phoenix. I would have said even in the middle of (last) season or last year that I would have thought I probably would have stayed in Phoenix forever. But it's come to a point now where I'm facing the reality that's not (the case)."

Asked what's changed, Nash says he senses Suns officials are ready to move in a different direction after they resisted numerous calls -- even from a pocket of Suns fans rooting for the 38-year-old to get a chance to play out his career with a title contender -- to trade Nash during each of the past two seasons. Phoenix has made two consecutive trips to the lottery in the wake of its Cinderella run to the Western Conference finals in 2010.


Steve Nash on the Suns:


I don't necessarily feel like (Phoenix is) a home run anymore. ... I think there's a lot of factors. So, one, I'm not sure they're determined to keep me; two, there's other opportunities that are exciting.


"I don't necessarily feel like it's a home run anymore," Nash said of re-signing with the Suns. "I don't necessarily feel like they're determined to keep me. I think there's a lot of factors. So, one, I'm not sure they're determined to keep me, (and) two, there's other opportunities that are exciting. So I think I have to be open-minded ... but at the same time be able to forecast where I'll be most successful and happiest."

Nash has made it a point in recent interviews to stress that he's "open to everything" and say he'll listen to any team that calls, but industry sources monitoring the free-agent market have identified four teams that pose the greatest danger to the Suns in terms of signing Nash away: Toronto, Dallas, New York and Brooklyn.

Raptors president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who headed the Phoenix contingent that swooped into Dallas in July 2004 and convinced Nash to leave the Mavericks to return the team that drafted him in less than 24 hours, is planning a similar approach to courting Canada's best-ever player in 2012.

Sources say that the Raptors will have at least five members of the organization waiting in New York this weekend to visit Nash as soon as he's ready Sunday, with Toronto widely expected to make the richest financial offer Nash receives this offseason to come back to Canada. The offer is likely to approach $12 million annually, sources say.


The Knicks, sources say, will also have a contingent ready to make a direct pitch and continue to have Nash at the top of their free-agent wish list, despite the fact that New York would likely need to manufacture a sign-and-trade package to have the requisite financial wherewithal to tempt Nash to sign on alongside fans' darling Jeremy Lin.


Nash on the Raptors:


The Raptors would be one of those teams where you're probably not going there to win a championship in the next three years. For me it'd be going home to Canada, to a great city, and trying to help an organization move forward.


And the Mavericks -- amid what sources close to the process describe as mounting evidence to suggest that the Nets are on the verge of clinching Deron Williams' commitment to re-sign with them and continue his career in Brooklyn -- are likewise hot after Nash. Nash himself has acknowledged hearing and reading about a lucrative one-year offer to come back to Texas to reunite with close friend Dirk Nowitzki after his emotional departure eight years ago in the event that the Mavericks lose out in the Williams sweepstakes. But sources told ESPN.com this week that the Mavs are prepared to make it a two-year pitch to try to beat out the competition to clinch Nash's return.

Nash, for his part, says that he expects to commit to a team fairly quickly and without leaving New York City to go on recruiting visits. NBA teams can't actually sign players until July 11, when a leaguewide moratorium on new contracts is lifted, but players can make verbal commitments as soon as free agency starts.

"There's positives to every situation," Nash said. "The Raptors would be one of those teams where you're probably not going there to win a championship in the next three years. For me it'd be going home to Canada, to a great city, and trying to help an organization move forward.

"I'm open to the positives of all of them. It'd be great if four or five contenders came after me and all offered me a deal, but the reality is I might not get that opportunity. So I'm going to look at every opportunity and Toronto will be one that I'll study as well and look at the opportunity for them to grow in the next three years and what kind of impact I can have on that team. And obviously from a community standpoint, it's a special place for me."

As for the Mavericks, Nash said: "Everyone knows they're going to go after Deron Williams. He's a terrific player, a lot younger than I am, and that'd be the smart thing for them to do. But if they don't get him, maybe I'll be a candidate there as well. It's a great city. It's one that obviously I have a history with and an affinity and affection for, so it's another opportunity different from Toronto but one that's exciting and has some great facets to it as well."

Asked specifically about the contentious nature of his Dallas exit in 2004 and whether that would in any way dissuade him from returning, Nash added: "That's so far in the past. For me that's not really a factor."


Nash on the Mavericks:


(Dallas is) a great city. It's one that obviously I have a history with and an affinity and affection for, so it's another opportunity different from Toronto but one that's exciting and has some great facets to it as well.


Nash insists that he's not ruling out a return to the Suns. It has been widely anticipated that Phoenix would offer him a new two-year deal worth at least $20 million, but it remains to be seen how far Suns owner Robert Sarver will go when the bids start coming in. The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro reported Friday night that the Suns "do not appear willing to meet (Nash's) wish for a three-year deal" and Suns officials are already fighting the perception that they selected North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall with the 13th pick in Thursday night's draft as the first step in dealing with Nash's eventual departure.

"It could be," Nash said of re-upping in Phoenix. "It's (just) not set in stone like it was last time" when he agreed to a two-year contract extension in the summer of 2009.

"It's just a different free agency for me and I have to be open-minded to everything."

Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby told the Republic: "(Nash) will have many factors to weigh. Candidly we will have decisions to make. If we can get together and reach a common ground, that's fine. Regardless of the outcome, the one thing I'm confident about will be that it'll be handled with grace and dignity on both sides. We'll see if there is a basis for the relationship to continue that's best for him and also best for us."

Nash earned nearly $12 million last season and averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists for a team that, with no 20-point scorer, nearly snagged the last playoff spot in the West.

"I definitely could go back to Phoenix, but just that opportunity that I may be moving has definitely got me feeling the nerves, anxiety and excitement to see what happens," said Nash, who added that he thinks he could reach his decision "in the first day or so" even as he admits "it's crazy to decide on the next three years of your life in an afternoon or a day."

"Just because things happen fast," Nash continued. "People want to get it out of the way and move on. Not only myself but the teams as well. If something funny happens and I want to take my time, I'll definitely take my time. But the way these things go, I feel, usually (they) happen quick."

Steve Nash examines options, says staying on Phoenix Suns no longer 'a home run' - ESPN
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If Mavs lose out on Deron Williams, I can see him going to the Mavs. He's big on the loyalty thing and he use to play for them. They will offer him a chance to contend for a title and provide him a nice contract. I think the Raptors are right up there too.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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3 years 36 million
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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All i sore on the preview was, Nash: Staying in Pheonix..... i almost fell off my chair
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Phoenix and Dallas had their chance with him, now its Raptor's turn. Logically, I feel like he should have the chance to play for a contender, but emotionally it would be a shame if Canada's best player retires having never represented a Canadian nba team in his entire career
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hope he comes here.....that would be huge!!! We would have a good shot at making it to the second round, even losing to the Heat like the Pacers did in 6 games would be fun to watch. If Bargs plays like he did pre-injury -the first 8-10 games of the season -and Nash pick and roll with Val that's going to be interesting

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Old 06-30-2012, 06:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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"The Raptors also are currently trying to see if teams that wanted to deal quality veterans in exchange for the No. 8 selection (used to select Terrence Ross) would consider moving the player for something different."
Ryan Wolstat
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Raptors courting Nash 3

By Ryan Wolstat ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 10:13 PM EDT | Updated: Friday, June 29, 2012 10:43 PM EDT

With Deron Williams possibly staying put in Brooklyn, Steve Nash has lost one of his most enticing potential destinations. (Getty Images)

3 Change text size for the storyPrint this story Report an error
Whether Bryan Colangelo lands the greatest Canadian player ever for the third time will likely be known by next week.

The Raptors will send a large group of staffers to New York to meet with Steve Nash, the two-time league MVP on Sunday morning.

Colangelo will be in Los Angeles for a wedding on Saturday night, but phone calls and texts will be made to Toronto’s top targets — most importantly, the pride of Victoria.

Free agency opens at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, though no official deals can be signed until the NBA’s ridiculous moratorium period ends on July 11th.

“I can’t mention names, there are some big-name free agents that are either looking to stay with their respective clubs or look for a new opportunity,” Colangelo said.

“This is an interesting year because there are a few pieces that make a lot of sense for us and we will certainly prioritize those pieces.”

Multiple sources confirmed to the Toronto Sun earlier this month that Nash is by far the team’s primary target and an extensive package designed to woo him has been prepared.

On Friday, Colangelo told reporters that incumbent point guard Jose Calderon could be amnestied in order to open up room for free agents,

Basically, if Nash is signed, the Raptors will part ways with their longest-serving player and he will be paid for the final year on his deal, but it won’t count against the salary cap.

Colangelo said he has been in contact with Calderon’s agent about the possibility.

“Jose’s a pro, he’s a grown man and he understands it’s a business,” Colangelo said, cautioning that there still remains every chance Calderon will return to Toronto.

“Jose is a very good basketball player and a very important part of this team … but, like I said, if we feel there’s a piece that will make us better or improve our basketball team (hint, hint, Steve Nash) and we’ve got the flexibility to commit those resources accordingly, than I think we should always pursue that and I think Jose understands that.”

The Raptors also are currently trying to see if teams that wanted to deal quality veterans in exchange for the No. 8 selection (used to select Terrence Ross) would consider moving the player for something different.

Colangelo also cautioned the team won’t just spend all of it’s money on July 1st just for the sake of doing so.

Meaning, if Nash or the other top targets aren’t available, the major moves might have to wait a little bit longer.

“It’s not going to be Christmas Day. We’re not going to go out and spend errantly and go crazy … This is not necessarily a 12:01 ET we’re going to have two pieces done and wrap this up and see everybody in October at training camp,” Colangelo said.

“This could take some time. The money might not be spent right away because we might not feel like the right pieces are there.”

But that’s Plan B. Plan A is definitely Nash, who also is expected to strongly consider returning to Phoenix or Dallas, signing with Brooklyn or perhaps accepting a sign-and-trade elsewhere.

Colangelo drafted Nash and then brought him back to Phoenix with a hefty free agent contract, which Nash backed up by winning two MVP awards.

The 38-year-old is still among the league’s best players and is a Canadian icon who would do nearly as much off of the court as he would on for the Raptors.

About to enter the final year of his contract, Colangelo is eager to get things turned around in Toronto.

“I think we’ve made very good strides in the first two years of this process, this third year we’d like to accelerate that and possibly compete for the playoffs,” he said.

“Depending on some of the things that we do here in the next few days, few weeks, it will help determine whether or not that’s a realistic goal.”

The desire to improve considerably goes beyond just the starting point guard spot and Colangelo said players could be moved out or cast out because: “We want to raise the stakes.”

In housekeeping moves, the Raptors issued qualifying offers to Jerryd Bayless and Sonny Weems and declined to pick up project centre Solomon Alabi’s option.

The team will be able to match any offers on Bayless or Weems, but the qualifier can be rescinded if the Raptors need extra cap room to reel in Nash or someone else.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If your not already keen on nash... your a nut but watch this and be amazed
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Nash WILL go to Dallas. They have the cap space after trading Odom for nada, they are the biggest contender for deep playoffs run who show interest in Nash. Sucks for Toronto, but Nash will be loved in Canada anyway, even if he doesn't sign Raptors
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The offer is likely to approach $12 million annually, sources say.
I told ya. That's a crazy number.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"The Raptors also are currently trying to see if teams that wanted to deal quality veterans in exchange for the No. 8 selection (used to select Terrence Ross) would consider moving the player for something different."
Ryan Wolstat
Would be such a stupid thing.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Would be such a stupid thing.
So instead of giving up the pick for a veteran player, trying to acquire one by using a player from a position where there's a log jam is stupid? Sounds to me like something worth giving a shot.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I told ya. That's a crazy number.


I hope he goes to Dallas. It's too much money for a guy at the end of his career on a team that's trying to rebuild here. All this will do is age the team, drain the cap, And then leave a gapping hole.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I told ya. That's an insane number.
fixed
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So instead of giving up the pick for a veteran player, trying to acquire one by using a player from a position where there's a log jam is stupid? Sounds to me like something worth giving a shot.
Give a young talented asset for a a bit older SF? Of course you do. BTW what logjam, Ross is a SG and the Raps have DD and Forbes.

I think that statement from Wolstat is in the wrong thread.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I hope he goes to Dallas. It's too much money for a guy at the end of his career on a team that's trying to rebuild here. All this will do is age the team, drain the cap, And then leave a gapping hole.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Give a young talented asset for a a bit older SF? Of course you do. BTW what logjam, Ross is a SG and the Raps have DD and Forbes.

I think that statement from Wolstat is in the wrong thread.
There's a log jam in the front court.

We have Amir, Davis, Bargs and now potentially Acy at the 4.

Also, Kleiza is most effective as an undersized 4.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummond so people stop whining

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There's a log jam in the front court.

We have Amir, Davis, Bargs and now potentially Acy at the 4.

Also, Kleiza is most effective as an undersized 4.
And JJ also plays some 4. And if he stays and we add a veteran SF you would think he might play at the 4 at times. I honesly think one of JJ/LK is gone and one of Amir/Davis is gone, hopefully in a trade for a SF.

I can see the 3/4 spots being:

Vet/JJ or LK/AA
Bargs/Amir or Davis/Acy


And you could also have Derozan and Ross playing some SF.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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There's a log jam in the front court.

We have Amir, Davis, Bargs and now potentially Acy at the 4.

Also, Kleiza is most effective as an undersized 4.
Kleiza has moments as a stretch 4 but no way you put him in the PF group. That group you listed has 1 starter, pushing 2 on a mediocre team.

Amir
Bargs/Davis
Kleiza/JJ

This is who the Raps have signed for next season. Room for additions.

Not sure why you're bringing up the front court, Shenmui stated it would be stupid for the Raps to trade their pick - which is a SG for a vet (which I disagree) but then you stated something about a logjam and are now bringing up the front court - which has nothing to do with Ross - and even if it is, there is no logjam unless youre seeing all the Raps players as starters

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